New Delhi: Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Tuesday held a high-level review meeting to assess the COVID-19 situation in the in Union Territories (UTs) and steps taken to contain the spread of infections and the state of other public health measures.
The Central Government in an official statement said, “Mr Bhalla, along with Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, chaired a high-level meeting to review and discuss the COVID-19 status, and the management and response strategy with chief secretaries of all the UTs of India.”
The meeting, held through video conference, was also attended by NITI Aayog Member Dr V K Paul, ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava and Director Generals (DGs) of Police of all UTs.
During the meeting it was advised that the UT administrations should plan to augment the hospital infrastructure in advance for next three weeks”, as they also need to ramp up testing and other infrastructure relating to large containment zones”, the Government said in its statement, adding that suggestions were made with regard to “strict enforcement of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and movement restrictions”.
Pointing out the alarming surge in the number of cases all across the country, the Government said, from 20,000 cases reported on January 1 2021, India has almost 10 times more cases (more than 2,00,000 cases) being reported daily since April 15 2021.
“Through a detailed and comprehensive presentation, the current trajectory of total new COVID-19 cases, weekly tests, weekly positivity rate, weekly new COVID-19 cases, weekly number of deaths and status/proportion of RT-PCR tests and Rapid Antigen Test in all UTs were presented,” it said.
Sharing their present efforts for containment and management of the positive cases, the UTs of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Lakshadweep pointed to the rise in cases due to large number of inbound travelers. “Lakshadweep has seen a sudden spike after April 14 primarily due to travel of large number of people to mainland to shop for the recent festive occasions”.
It was informed that most UTs have imposed movement restrictions, including night curfew, restriction of intra-island movement in the island UTs, the Chandigarh informed that they are conducting door to door counselling for increasing vaccination while 90 percent of the patients are in home isolation who are being monitored by mobile teams.
While expressing gratitude to the Central Government for timely support by reopening of DRDO run Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Covid Care Hospital in Cant area of Delhi, augmenting the ICU bed capacity in the capital, the Delhi Government discussed shortage of beds, it is said in the statement, adding that the Delhi government’s efforts to ramp up testing and reduce the turnaround time for the test results were also outlined.